Do you ever get overwhelmed with blogging and wonder how some bloggers seem to have it all together? I know I sure did when I was starting out. (And even now sometimes!) I’ve spent a lot of time researching and observing the things that make successful bloggers stand out among the myriads of other bloggers.
They all have things in common, and today I’m breaking down thirteen specific habits that those successful bloggers share for Day 12 of Blogmas!
1. They post consistently.
Consistency is key in every aspect of blogging. Whether it’s creating a posting schedule and sticking to it, or maintaining a consistent presence on social media, posting consistently makes all the difference. Your audience wants to know when they can expect to see your posts. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting once a month or three times a week, but find a schedule that works for you and stick to it!
2. They plan ahead.
If you don’t have an editorial calendar already, you should! When I first started blogging, I would sit down the day before I wanted to publish (or even the day of…yikes!) and type until I was satisfied with my blog post. This obviously wasn’t sustainable long-term, because I never thought far enough in advance about the topic I was going to write about. Having an editorial calendar allows you to look at your blog posting schedule from a distance, and you can tailor and rearrange your posts to give your blog the most benefit.
For example, my highest traffic days tend to be earlier in the week like Mondays and Tuesdays. This means that I will post my very best content on those days. Another benefit of having an editorial calendar is the opportunity to be strategic about your posting dates. Let’s say you are planning a blog post about this awesome gluten-free chocolate cake recipe for your food blog and you’ve done your research and know that national chocolate day happens to fall during this month. Looking at your future content and planning strategic dates to post allows you the opportunity to potentially bring in a lot more traffic to your blog.
3. They connect with their audience.
If you’re a huge blogger and are getting hundreds of comments on every social media or blog post, then chances are you won’t be able to reply to each and every one of them. But smaller bloggers have no excuse! If one of your readers or followers takes time out of their day to leave you a comment, respond! I see a lot of smaller bloggers who don’t respond to comments and it baffles me. Take the time to respond, and connect with your audience! By doing so, you’ll get a better feel for who your target audience is and you’ll be able to tailor your posts to fit your audience. Connecting with your audience is essential!
4. They collaborate with other bloggers.
This one is so important, especially when you are just stepping into the big blogging world! I’ve done quite a few collaborations, and each one has widened my audience and has given my blog exposure to people in my niche who may not have known about my blog yet. With that being said, never collaborate with another blogger who doesn’t fit with who you are, what you stand for, or how you want your blog to be portrayed. Bloggers often forget that they’re allowed to say “No.” Nicely, of course. 😉
5. They set goals.
Where do you see your blog in a year? Do you want to grow your audience? Collaborate with a specific dream brand? Do you want to eventually make blogging your career? A successful blogger has a vision of where they’d like to go. If you know where you’d like to end up, you can know what specific steps to take to get you there.
One thing that has helped me tremendously with making goals is the SMART acronym, which stands for:
Bad example: “I want to gain more Instagram followers.”
Good example: “I want to grow my Instagram following by 100 new followers a week to reach my goal of hitting 5k by the end of this year.” See how much more specific and realistic that was?
6. They value quality over quantity.
I used to think that the way to grow my blog was by posting as much as possible. This could not be further from the truth! You don’t have to publish a brand new post Monday-Friday. If you do this, chances are that the quality of the posts will suffer. Quality posts or posts that teach or share a unique viewpoint with your audience are going to be a lot more valuable to your blog than a quick tag post that you slapped together in 30 minutes. That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for filler posts. But really think about what you’re offering your readers.
7. They’re not in it for the money or the perks.
While the perks of blogging can be nice sometimes, you should never get into blogging for the “free stuff” or money. Because let me tell you, a lot of work goes into those posts! And it takes a while to build up your blog and followings before you can see a return on the time and money you’re investing into your blog. You should be blogging because you genuinely enjoy it, because you like to connect with your readers who have similar interests, and because it’s fun! And if an opportunity comes along that aligns with your brand and readers, then take it! You’ve earned it, girl.
8. They don’t compare themselves to others.
What they say is true, comparison is the thief of joy. Have you ever had blog envy? (#Guilty!) Maybe you’ve compared your blog to another blogger’s stunning design, or their massive Instagram following, or their seemingly perfect pictures. While jealousy can sometimes point out areas in your life that you can improve upon, you have to realize that comparing yourself to others is never going to get you anywhere. Instead, focus on how you can be your best.
9. They batch their work.
Batching your work is one of my best tips for balancing all of the work that comes with blogging. If you’re not familiar with the term, batching is basically doing one task in bulk. So remember that editorial calendar we just talked about? Let’s say you have all your blog posts planned out for the month. Since you know the titles for all of them, you can go through and create all the graphics for those posts in one sitting. The same goes for writing posts or editing pictures.
By focusing solely on one task for a longer period of time, you’re actually being more productive than switching from one task to another. It personally took me a lot of work to get my mind to adapt to this new way of doing things, but I have saved so much time by batching my work! It doesn’t have to be too far in advance either. Right now, I only batch my work up to a week in advance on the weekends. This allows me to focus on work and school during the week, and it saves a ton of stress about what’s going on with my blog.
10. They share other’s work.
No one wants to follow a self-promoter. I’m talking about those bloggers who just drop links to their own posts every single hour on Twitter. It gets pretty old, doesn’t it? A successful blogger recognizes that sharing other’s work isn’t going to take away anything from their traffic. In fact, it can help. By sharing other bloggers work who are in your niche, you become more of an expert in your field. So the next time one of your blogging friends writes an awesome post that you think your followers will enjoy too, share it! Who knows, they might even return the favor sometime!
11. They schedule their social media.
I’ve blogged about the time-saving powers of scheduling social media before, and it goes hand-in-hand with batching your posts. Once you’ve written your posts for the week or month (you go-getter, you!) go ahead and schedule your social media promotions.
I personally use Buffer to schedule my Facebook, Google +, and Twitter posts and Later to schedule Instagram posts if I’m really trying to get ahead of the game. (TweetDeck is an awesome tweet scheduler too!) Buffer is free to use for up to ten social media profiles and saves me hours of time. So once I post my blog post, I can relax and know that the sharing has already been taken care of. Another reason I love Buffer is because it gives you insight into when the best time to post is based on each platform. Cool, huh?
12. They utilize SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is so important. After all, you’ve spent hours writing and proof-reading your blog posts, you want people to be able to find them right?
SEO is a long and complicated subject that deserves its own blog post, but a few simple SEO tips that have helped me are:
- Use keywords in your post title, your first paragraph, and often throughout your post.
Basically use titles that make sense. For example, you wouldn’t get much organic traffic with a blog post titled “My weekend in NYC” but a simple change could make your post much more SEO friendly by switching it to “Five local NYC restaurants you have to try.”
- Use keywords in all of your photos captions! This is huge! Instead of the photo name being “JPEG_201” change it to the title of your post. It will help you rank much better in search engine results…promise!
- Link to any related posts you might have in your newest blog post.
- Post consistently. Google favors websites that are regularly updated.
- Make sure your blog is mobile friendly. Google also favors mobile friendly sites!
Yoast is a great WordPress plugin to help you measure how SEO friendly your blog post is.
13. They are persistent.
Blog growth doesn’t happen overnight. Or even in weeks, or months. Keep at it, and you’ll slowly but surely build a following that is engaged with you and your work! Success takes time.
Today’s Blogmas Question of the Day:
Which habit do you think is the most important when it comes to blogging?
Share with me down below! Missed yesterday’s Blogmas post about finding the PERFECT Christmas gift for men? Check it out here! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for Day 13 of Blogmas!